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Prominent Poetry Styles

Pankaj Chobharkar Oct 7, 2018
Poetry is a very popular form of literature. Check out some of the most prominent poetry styles.
Poetry is an art and cannot really be defined, you simply cannot bind the essence of it into a few sentences. The definition of poetry changes from person to person and from time to time. And so, you cannot exactly tell anyone how to write a poem. However, the styles, basic elements, and various techniques used in writing poems can be learned.
Learning the composition of poetry is like learning to play a musical instrument. You need to learn all the rules and techniques before composing it. Poetry style is the way in which a poem is written. There are many different types of poems, and many are invented day-in and day-out. Here is an overview of the various styles.


The one in which the poet uses the letters in a single word to start each line of the poem.


A ballad is simply a story told in the form of a poem. It is usually related to folk tales, and is easy to sing. Example - the Hindu epic Ramayana is a ballad. Each verse of a ballad ends with the same line, which is called 'a refrain'.


It is a comical style of poetry, and is named after its inventor Edmund Clerihew Bentley. The rhyme scheme used is usually a-a-b-b.


A Damante styled poem commonly contains seven lines that are shaped like a diamond. The poem is written in the following format.
Line 1: Noun or subject
Line 2: Two Adjectives
Line 3: Three -ing words
Line 4: Four words about the subject
Line 5: Three -ing words
Line 6: Two adjectives
Line 7: Synonym/antonym for the subject


It is a small poem that is inscribed on tombstones telling something about, or praising the person on whose grave the stone is placed.


A fable is a story written in verse or prose with a moral at the end. Generally, it uses animals as characters to teach a valuable lesson.

Free Verse

This is a free form of poetry that most modern poets are following. It does not follow the conventional elements like meters, rhymes, etc. Its emphasis is on the thought behind the poem.


A Ghazal is a style of poetry that is written like an odd numbered chain of couplets where every couplet is an individual poem. It originated from Arabia.


Haiku is a Japanese style of poetry. It is composed of three interlinked verses that do not rhyme.


The Lanturne is a poem of five-line stanza that is shaped like a Japanese lantern with a definite syllabic pattern.


This style of poetry is witty and can be vulgar sometimes. It has around five lines in a verse. The first, second, and fifth line have the same metrical structure, and also rhyme with each other.

Minute Poetry

The Minute Poem consists of rhyming verses that have exactly 12 lines of 60 syllables written in strict iambic meter.


In this style, the poet mourns the death of someone. It is sung by a single singer without a chorus.


This kind of poems end in the same rhyme. It is very commonly in Welsh, in medieval Latin, and in Arabic.


A nonet poem has precisely nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second line - eight syllables, the third line - seven syllables, and so on.

An Ode

An ode is a poem that is written to praise a person or a remarkable event.


This type of poem reads the same forward and backward. It is taken from the Greek word palindromos: palin which means 'again'.


The pantoum style of poetry uses four line stanzas, where you repeat lines. Lines 2 and 4 of a stanza become lines 1 and 3 of the next. It is a rhythmic style.


The name 'quatrain' has been derived from Latin and French words that mean 'four'. The quatrain style means writing a poem of four lines, with alternately rhyming lines.

Shape Poetry

Also known as concrete poetry, these are poems whose shape refers to their subject, also referred to as visual poetry. It is an old form of poetry, and its earliest forms come from some Greek poets.


A sonnet is a lyrical poem consisting of fourteen lines. There are two types of sonnets, Italian or also known Petrarchan sonnet and Shakespearean sonnet. Both are very popular and originated from Italy.

Tongue Twisters

Tongue twisters are poems that are styled with words or combination of words, that are hard to pronounce individually or collectively. Usually such poems use a lot of alliteration.

Villanelle Poetry

A Villanelle has 19 lines which are grouped into five tercets, and a concluding quatrain. The first and third lines are repeated alternatively.
This list acknowledges with only the major poetry styles. There are many more kinds of poetry and new styles that are also being invented, so the list can go on and on.